One of the many things I like about Dishonored 2's level designs is the way it begins and ends in the same place, though drastically changed, and how this highlights how the protagonist has changed as well.
In the first level, you're escaping from a room high atop Dunwall Tower and you have no supernatural abilities so you are limited to one survivable path down across the rooftops to the ground.
In the last level, you have the opportunity to scale those same roofs using your accumulated magical/superhuman abilities (and whatever game proficiency you've gained in real life) and it's completely different.
Before, it was required of you to pick your path downwards. Now, it's optional; they draw your attention to the high-altitude area in a couple of different ways, but leave it to you to detour up there or not.
Before, there was only one survivable path, with a slightly narrower optimal path within it that would prevent all falling damage but no real choice and plenty of ways to screw it up.

After, you've got magic. You can double jump and/or teleport and/or force-pull yourself.
And like, while the big framework of the setting remains the same, the set dressing and details have changed drastically, from the chaos of the coup to supernatural mid-apocalypse. The opportunities and hazards have been reshuffled.
Dr. Galvani's apartment is easy pickings for loot on your way out. On your way back in? Say hello to his little friend. The only treasure left in his vault is spite.
So it's not really much of an observation to say that the level has changed between the start and end of your journey, but I love the subtle touch of inviting the player to repeat their escape in reverse, at (or very nearly at) the height of their endgame power.
I have observed that I find it very easy to get out of Dunwall with no murders or with a tidy sum of scavenged loot but not both, as you leave Dunwall with the fewest options for dealing with a situation you'll ever have in the game.
Even when a later level removes your active-use powers, you're still more capable and better equipped than in that first level.

Similarly, you never arrive in a level more powerful than when you reach the last one.

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More from @AlexandraErin

11 Jun
The marriage conflicts in It Takes Two reminds me of the parent/child issues in Mitchells vs. Machines, where it felt like the writers believed they were creating a reciprocal, mutual conflict but 90% of it was the dad/husband sucking a bunch.
I think it's part of Sitcom Dad Syndrome: if your tendency is to give white guys slack and to look on everybody else with suspicion of benefiting from unearned slack, it's easy to miss that your Patriarch is just an awful person.

Like, the game play in It Takes Two seems really well designed for creating synergy and teamwork, and the level design is great, the artwork is great, but the actual relationship stuff...
Read 23 tweets
10 Jun
"Why doesn't the media care about the president' sson"

Okay, I'll bite: what's a president's son?

A monarch's son might be a prince, might be the heir apparent to the throne.

A business mogul's son might be an heir.

What's a president's son?
I guess in the sense that "it happens every other century".

And, like, the political news media covering how much of a screw-up a current president's son is as though he were the crown prince or something just exacerbates that.

I'm worried about a lot of things on both sides of the aisle but I am not worried that Joe Biden is going to give Hunter the keys to the kingdom, and I don't believe you are, either.
Read 11 tweets
10 Jun
Despite being billed as a continuation/sequel and despite having some of the "Unlike that icky girl version a few years back, THIS ONE'S FOR THE REAL FANS" marketing hype pushed onto it, the best thing about this is the people who made it clearly know where/how the original sucks
I remember reading something from the people who made Voltron: Legendary Defender about how they weren't trying to be faithful to the original (either original) so much as faithful to the feeling of having watched it as a kid.
And that's the vibe I get from this trailer. It's not the 80s cartoon (which... doesn't hold up well at all), it's versions of that universe that could have lived in your mind, free from the need to maximize the number of collectable action figures you get out of a single mold.
Read 8 tweets
10 Jun
Once upon a time a comedian did a bit in a set that didn't go over well. Someone in the audience repeated the joke to another person, who also didn't get it. That person repeated it again to a man who, seeing the humor in it, died laughing.
The dead man's family went after the one who had told him the joke, who protested that seeing nothing funny in it, they could not be blamed for the fatal hilarity. The person who had first repeated the joke had the same excuse, and pointed the finger at the comedian.
The comedian's lawyer first argued self-defense, saying that it was their client's job to slay the audience and with the alternative being dying on stage... if a stand-up comic can't stand their ground, who can?
Read 6 tweets
10 Jun
So it's my birthday.

First birthday after my vaccination feels less real or like a birthday or milestone than my birthday during Quarantimes, I think because last year I was way more consciously doing things to mark "Yes, this is happening and it's my birthday."
On the plus side it not feeling like my birthday means it also doesn't feel like the anniversary of my last day with a living mother. Though maybe that's why I've been so blah/down lately, anniversary effect creeping up on me unnoticed.
....the Twitter profile balloons have never felt sadder.

Is it actually only one year since Jack made the Fireball cake? Is that possible? Did that happen in 2020? Time is fake, and out of joint, and an illusion. It's a fake, out of joint illusion.

Read 13 tweets
8 Jun
Every once in a while I think about how Lois & Clark, a show that had almost no characters with superpowers outside of Superman, had two different unrelated ones played by the incredibly distinctive character actor Leslie Jordan.
I don't know how that happened but I think it was to the benefit of the show and the stories that he was cast in the part, as it was crucial in both cases that the character not actually be read as villainous despite being thrust into a supervillainous role.
His Invisible Man was Mr. Cellophane meets Henry Bemis, an overlooked man who made himself invisible and decided the best use of his power was to redistribute as many resources as a single pair of invisible hands could.
Read 22 tweets

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